Dear Andrew—Wave Anyway

On Saturday we took you out for ‘bwunch’ at the breakfast place near the apartment. You were excited at the prospect of a pancake with butter, and I was glad we have a restaurant with turkey bacon within walking distance. We all held hands and off we went.

At this stage in your development, outings at restaurants are hit-or-miss. Theoretically, if we fill you up with fries and nuggets, you’ll remain docile. However, three-year-olds have bad attitudes and bad days same as grownups. Without the vocabulary to express this, they resort to ruining everyone else’s meal.

Luckily, this particular meal was a good one. After you drank an entire pint of apple juice, you dug into a blueberry pancake. Full of carbs and butter, you then began people-watching.

A breakfast place is great for observing people because only half the patrons want to be there. Some people get dragged out to brunch on Saturday when they’d rather be in bed or watching tv, so you have some halfhearted gatherings, but on the whole it’s cute families or glad groups of friends, dressed nice and enjoying the greatest genre of food—brunch.

You turned around in your chair to watch everyone walk by—teenage waiters who grinned at you, young moms more put-together than I will ever be, bearded Spacex employees who might’ve been up all night but are still happy to eat fried eggs and bacon, recent graduates out for congratulatory meals with out-of-town relatives, and kids your age. And you started waving.

As your mom, it’s sort of impossible for me to be objective about you—you’re gorgeous and charming, and people should wave back at you if they’re lucky enough to get noticed. But not all of them did, and we could tell you were surprised and a little disappointed. You glanced after them in wonder. Was there some confusion? Did they understand the reciprocal nature of this particular greeting?

The sad truth is, son, you did nothing wrong, but some people don’t want to wave. For their own reasons. Just like some people don’t want to play, or hug, or sing along. And you have to be ok with that.

If you ever wonder what you did wrong, the answer is probably nothing. I mean, if you’ve been mean to people, yeah, don’t expect them to wave or hug. But hopefully you’ll recognize that. If you can’t, feel free to ask for help.

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t let the non-wavers get you down. Maybe they’re distracted. Maybe they’re tired or cranky or sick. Maybe brunch is their least favorite and they can’t believe they’re here. Maybe they made a bad decision regarding hot sauce and are making a beeline for the bathroom.

Maybe their thoughts are heavy and their hearts are breaking; they’ve come out to brunch because you can’t just stay inside forever, but now they regret it. Maybe they’re afraid to meet your eyes because you’ll see.

If it’s because they genuinely don’t like you, it’s ok. Not everyone will. Even someone as beautiful, smart, hilarious, loving, and tall as you are is gonna have some non-likers, dare I say enemies. As far as it depends on you, live in peace, as the Bible says. But the people who dislike you—who ignore your waves while whispering to their companions and looking at you sideways…there might be some of those. Ignore those people. I wish I could wave a wand and make everyone a waver, make everyone appreciate you for the great boy you are. But I can’t, just like Sisa couldn’t do it for me.

I’m gonna leave you with something Pop Pop said when I was little—“God is not gonna judge you based on what other people think of you.” If other flawed human beings start to sound like the High Court of Andrew’s Worth, you need to pray more, because you’ve forgotten about Someone.

And if God loves you more than I do, then listen to Him. Because I love you more than I thought I could. You, like brunch, are the best. And I love when you smile and wave at me.

Love, mom


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